When Stipe Miocic landed a devastating proper hand to the chin of Fabricio Werdum in 2016, the 45,000 followers in attendance had been surprised into full silence.
The gang in Curitiba, Brazil had watched their hero floored with a single punch and his heavyweight belt ripped away as his consciousness slowly returned.
For Miocic, the celebrations lasted lower than 24 hours as the brand new UFC heavyweight champion was again scrubbing bogs in his house city of Cleveland, Ohio.
Maybe some perspective is important. Miocic, the best UFC heavyweight of all time, volunteers on the Valley View Fireplace Division and is a skilled paramedic.
The now-iconic photographs of Miocic leaping onto the cage in Brazil and screaming ‘I’m a world champion’ as he celebrated together with his coaches had been rapidly changed by grimaces as he returned house to clean the bogs of his station.
“That’s the massive one,” Jamie Meklemburg, a detailed buddy and fellow firefighter in Cleveland, informed ESPN in 2018.
“We be sure that his first shift after his fights, he is aware of we’re going to have him clear the bogs. He’s tried to keep away from it, however we save that for him.”
Miocic is again in motion to defend his crown as soon as once more towards Francis Ngannou at UFC 260, which meant a stint within the firehouse.
“I often choose a shift a few days earlier than I depart,” he informed UFC Embedded forward of battle week. “Evening shift,” he defined as he washed dishes after consuming together with his crew after which sweeping the ground.
Whereas the world spent 2020 deciding what to look at on Netflix, Miocic break up his time between Valley View and the fitness center as he ready for his third battle with Daniel Cormier, which he received – to make it 4 defences in two reigns.
However he’s not the GOAT when within the station and that fits him simply nice.
Right here, he works as a paramedic and in addition prepares gear for his senior members of employees when they’re on name. In response to Fireplace Chief Ken Papesh, that is ‘most likely an important function within the station’.
Papesh has labored alongside with Miocic for greater than a decade and there’s one story which stands out for the veteran first responder; when Miocic responded to a criticism by a girl complaining of chest pains.
The heavyweight champion and a colleague travelled to the ladies’s office and satisfied her to test it out, regardless of her claims the ache had subsided and there was nothing to fret about anymore.
Miocic sat at the back of the ambulance along with her on the best way to the hospital when she entered cardiac arrest. Papesh informed ESPN how one of many best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet might have saved her life.
“Stipe stated her identify and he or she didn’t reply,” Papesh says. “And he regarded on the monitor and was like ‘oh my gosh.’
“He began CPR on her and received the defibrillator and shocked her to get her again. She ended up having open coronary heart surgical procedure and was capable of depart the hospital totally mentally and bodily intact due to what he did.”
Whereas he thrives as one of many guys on the frontline, others know Miocic because the king of the heavyweights.
Earlier than his UFC profession started, the 38-year-old was a Golden Gloves boxing champion and a NCAA I Division wrestler at Cleveland State College.
Raised by Croatian immigrants, Miocic determined to stay together with his mom when his dad and mom separated. His mom pushed him to compete in varied totally different sports activities and he was an excellent baseball participant – receiving curiosity from Main League Baseball sides.
Figuring out of the Robust Model Struggle Workforce, it was clear his true calling lay in fight sports activities and he rapidly amassed a 6-Zero file in MMA – all whereas persevering with to realize paramedic training at group school.
In 2011, he signed for the UFC on a multi-fight deal and recorded a number of bonus-winning performances as he made a reputation for himself as a lethal stand-up boxer and deadly finisher.
After defeating Francis Ngannou at UFC 220 in January 2018, he was then crudely introduced again all the way down to earth with a shock first-round knockout by the hands of Cormier in July.
Though he exacted revenge 12 months later, the win got here at a value as inadvertent eye pokes by the previous two-weight world champion left him requiring surgical procedure to reattach his retina.
And having spent three years specializing in Cormier, he should now flip to a resurgent Ngannou, who himself has put collectively a profitable run.
However his different job has saved him grounded and the starvation has by no means left him. There’s no probability of diva behaviour there.
“Even in the event you beat the man earlier than, there’s at all times an opportunity [of losing].
“The man can come again and he’s hungrier and he’s higher than the primary time. You’ve at all times received a goal in your again while you’re the champ.”
A win right here, although, won’t solely imply a fifth defence throughout two reigns, however an epic heavyweight title battle towards Jon Jones.
Not that he would look that far forward.
“It’s a battle, and he hits laborious and something can occur,” stated Miocic. “It’s the heavyweight division and we put on small gloves, and it simply takes one, particularly with him. He hits laborious. But in addition, take a look at it on my aspect, I hit laborious too, and I can take him out. I do know he’s by no means been knocked out, however I’m positively gonna attempt for it, there’s no query.
I’m not gonna sit there and simply attempt to do a factors recreation; I’m positively gonna attempt to go for the end.”